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Choose the Right Tree for your Site

Deciding to plant a tree is a great first step!  But before rushing off to the garden center, first do a little research and a simple layout.  WIth a little planning you can produce a landscape that will cool your home in summer and tame the winter winds.  Your well-planned yard will contain trees that grow well in the soil and moisture of your neighborhood; and your trees will avoid collisions with power lines and buildings.  And the tree will meet your criteria for tree and location.

So before you select your trees, take these factors into consideration:

1.  Height. Will the tree bump into anything when it is fully grown?  Except for small trees, you don't want to plant close to power lines.
2.  Canopy spread. How wide will the tree grow?  You don't want it to be too close to your house.
3.  Deciduous or coniferous? (Will it lose its leaves in the winter?)  For a buffer, evergreens are often a popular choice.
4.  Form or shape. A columnar tree will grow in less space. Round and V-Shaped species provide the most shade.
5.  Growth rate. How long will it take for your tree to reach its full height? Slow growing species typically live longer than fast growing species.
6.  Soil, sun, and moisture requirements.
7.  Fruit. No one wants messy droppings on busy sidewalks or parking areas.  On the other hand, if you want to attract birds, consider what our local birds will enjoy.
8.  Hardiness zone indicates the temperature extremes in which a tree can be expected to grow.  Chatham is Hardiness Zone 7a.  But you must also consider how exposed the tree will be to wind and salt spray.

Another consideration is ornamental or native trees.  There are many reasons to choose either.  But if a native tree will meet your requirements, it is likley the better choice since it is meant to grow here.  In addition, it may provide food and habitate for our wildlife.

For a list of trees suggested by Friends of Trees Click Here.